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See why The Knight School is so effective at teaching kids and having a blast.


AGES 5-16



The Knight School Varsity Chess Team is a super-advanced chess and pizza party! These classes are only for those kids enrolled The Knight School Chess Party or Pink Genius Chess Teams at their school who stand out as one of the best on their teams! We are The Knight School competition team for our city, and enrollment in this class means you will be automatically be attending any challenge matches we undertake.



Laughter, longer-clocks, and compelling teaching approaches make this evening class (beginning at 5 or 6 PM in most cities) the week's highlight for the kids who make up an awesome advanced component of the network of The Knight School's school chess teams. Our curriculum is awesomely effective and the kids get devastatingly good at chess; The Varsity is basically dinner and a very intellectual show!


The Varsity is a great activity for many reasons, chief among them may be social. Since this advanced chess class is by definition an assembly of all the hotshots from every The Knight School after school elementary chess program at every school in your city, and since these kids tend to enroll year after year, Varsity kids make very close bonds with each other. Face it: all the smartest kids in a given city, sitting together on the floor eating pizza and listening to Coach’s announcements about upcoming events in The Knight School, is just plain fun. Here we are eating breakfast before a big tourney:


And when the subject changes to joke time, things get dialed up another notch. While some kids tell bad jokes and some tell rotten jokes that earn a negative scores, most tell hilarious, well-researched jokes and everybody wins. Coach judges the jokes on a scale between one and ten and the kids scoring highest get to go first for seconds on pizza! So telling truly funny jokes is powerfully incentivized, since tens go first for seconds, then nines, and so forth, until the remaining pizza supply is exhausted. Telling jokes involving chess earns a bonus point. Some of the funniest jokes of the year are found on this website’s Funzy Pages. Check that out!


Another fun aspect of The Varsity after school chess program is the Toast Game. Coach sits on the floor, across a chessboard from their opponent, with a big bag of Starburst in the middle of the board. Then 8 kids kneel behind the 6 sitting crisscross applesauce, while the other 15 city-wide geniuses stand in a perfect circle to complete the TKS “Toast Amphitheater.” These kids then behold the smackdown of either the coach, or the hotshot upstart would-be night wrecker in what we call our “Toast Game.” Coach drops the clock to one minute, while the hotshot has ten minutes on their clock, coach throws the bag of candy aside, they shake hands, and the clock slapping goes berserk. 


Obviously, another important element of The Varsity is the incredible level of chess lessons for kids. Back at your own school’s chess class, your child may rule the roost. Here, your child is a baby chicken running around among the hawks. Watch out! These kids play for keeps, and winning The Varsity tournament, collecting every single red mardi-gras bead in the room and thus earning the gray belt, is an honor indeed. Any single tactical slip where you allow an X-Ray, a skewering of your queen, a trap, a discovery, a double check or any other tactical slip will probably be unrecoverable. Accordingly, the precision level of the gameplay is exquisite, and often all the kids gather around to watch the finals matches. Talk about fun chess tournaments for kids!


Another aspect of The Varsity is that after three years enrolled in The Varsity, once in high school a student is eligible to apply to The Knight School High School Volunteer Intern Program, a program strictly reserved for kids 16 and over. TKS Interns spend 30 hours assisting the TKS coaches during afterschool chess classes or at summer chess camps, and TKS Interns earn valuable experience, valuable volunteer hours, and valuable and prestigious academic credentials to include on college applications. TKS Internships require the prerequisite of at least three years enrolled in The Varsity.

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